The 1920’s held great promise for women. Women had just secured the right to vote after a very long fight. So it would be just logical for other good things to follow. Women were looking to other ways to be liberated. Many wanted out of the house, and into other more challenging and liberating roles. I would argue that in the following evidence, that some women very much wanted to know what it was to live like a man, and some wanted no part of it.
Many women of the twenties were looking to loosen up moral restrictions on them. We can see this in a piece written by Alyse Gregory who was a new woman feminist. She wrote of having a smoke after every meal and a lover every night, to brighten up her life. She also wrote of casting lovers away, when they longer fit the ladies needs anymore.
This writer is highly biased in favor of the new woman. It seems like she wanted to turn the tables and get back at men for their indiscretions.(2) In the article of the sex adjustment of modern women, it was said that women were really looking for freedom in their quest to loosen up morals on themselves. This article also brought up the issue that women wanted to live as men.(4) In an article there is talk against old fashioned values by arguing that the traditional home ruins the people involved.(14)
Women during WW1 found work outside the home, much of it was necessary for the war effort. After the war some sought to capitalize on this and keep women working outside the home. There was different ways to justify this. One lady spoke of paying for a home someday, because we were getting behind on the bills and because we needed a food. In the same article it says there are really deeper reasons than those for working outside the home.(10) This article was written by agents of the U.S. department of labor, so maybe the writers had hidden agendas also. In an article written by John Watson he says that being married should not prevent work outside the home.(12) To some, women working outside the home should be praised for promoting more freedom for women, and boosting woman’s rights.(5) It was said that there were no forces that could keep woman out of the work place. (2)
In the above paragraphs we showed how women were trying to change their roles. Now I will show some of the attitudes and other barriers they were up against. First we will discuss arguments against sexual liberation. One article expresses that woman were seeking freedom and would get that if they acted like men, but suggested that they would have burdens placed on them as are placed on men, and is that really gaining more freedom. It says that freedom is mystical, implying that no one ever really achieves that.(4) W.I. Thomas says that young woman have an inherent sacredness endowed upon them(1)
There seems to be more evidence in the articles against working outside the home than against sexual freedom. One article suggests all types of social ills would come of women working outside the home. Such as bringing harm to her kind to not having enough kids. (5) Some said if you ran your home well enough that you would be praised as much as if you were successful outside the home.(5) Others said that if you were creative in domestic chores that you are not only solving your own problems, but of other house wives too.(6) Housekeeping was the best job on the planet, or so it was said. Being an efficient homemaker was to be aspired to.(7). On a wage chart it is shown the difference in woman’s wages versus mens. Why work when you couldn’t make much money?(8)
Immigrant women were really demonized for working outside the home. The social workers pointed several problems in the homes of immigrants but, instead of offering assistance, they were threatened were deportation another evils. (16)